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How Are The Dodgers Going To Use a Revitalized Joey Gallo?

The Joey Gallo happiness story is a fun one, but how is LA going to use him going forward?

Just a few weeks ago I wrote a piece that was nothing but sympathy for the struggles of Joey Gallo. What a difference 12 days can make. We were talking about how he was afraid to walk the streets of New York for fear of being harassed over his struggles at the plate. At least temporarily, Gallo has transcended that narrative.

"It's been a while since I've heard people chanting for me, so I'm pretty excited about that." Joey Gallo on his pinch-hit homer and his time so far with the Dodgers.

Are we sure Gallo is having more fun in LA? According to the LA Times, for Gallo, life is a beach.

“No offense to NY, but I was living in a small apartment for the same price. It’s nice to be by the beach, have some waves, sand and people walking around in flip-flops."

Okay well surely he's not salty about his treatment in New York, right?

“I thought we were winning a lot in New York, we’re winning a lot here, especially lately”

Okay, I give up. Gallo is clearly much happier living in LA so far. The bigger question is once the honeymoon phase is over and the rosters crunch down, how are the Dodgers going to use Gallo? Are they going to be able to use him?

Outfielders

First of all that was Gallo's first big Dodger moment. It doesn't erase the brutal struggles he's been having for the last (almost) two seasons. I don't mean to trample on the man (read my last post about him) but the Dodgers don't have room for any players who are not getting it done on both sides of the field.

Chris Taylor has returned to the roster. Taylor can play literally everywhere, but his defense in the outfield has been seen by most as his most effective position. Unless Taylor and Gallo are going to be a platoon, Gallo is going to fight for starts. This goes the same for Gavin Lux. When Justin Turner plays third base and Max Muncy starts, Lux has often been moved to the outfield where he has been decent. The emergence of Trayce Thompson has also made an outfield platoon the most likely scenario.

It is clear from the onset of Gallo's acquisition that the Dodgers saw him as a sort of "Max Muncy insurance." Whether you want to view that as insurance in case Muncy continued to struggle or in case of another 2021 type of injury, (I just knocked on my wooden desk) Gallo is a talented left-handed bat.

“We feel like getting him here, getting him with our guys, that there’s a real compelling upside story. For us, it was lengthening our position-player base to cover for unforeseen things that could pop up in August, September, October. We saw it last year when Muncy went down the last game of the year. Things can happen, and adding a talented player that we feel like there’s some real potential upside with, was something that was compelling for us.”

Last Thoughts

The best thing about Gallo is his power tool (meaning how hard he tends to hit baseballs) and that he has a great outfield glove. For the Dodgers, it's another case of an embarrassment of riches. Whether Gallo starts a lot or just becomes a powerful bench bat, you still have to be rooting for the guy.